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bret: and now some fresh
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pickings from the political grapevine. texas democratic congressman gene green is limiting people at his town hall events. he writes "unfortunately, due to a coordinated effort to disrupt town hall meetings, we will be restricting attendance to residents of the 29th congressional district and verifying residency by requiring photo identification." but green hasn't always favored such restrictions. a non-partisans issues website says green has voted twice against requiring photo i.d. in federal elections. green's office just responded to our request for a comment, saying "previous votes on voter integrity projects requiring picture identification would have restricted voter participation whereas our decision is to enhance our constituents' participation in town halls without interruption from non-constituents." news outlets focusing on
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posters outside tuesday's town hall meeting with president obama failed to mention provocative and violent rhetoric by liberals outside the 2002 appearance outside then president george bush. the event saw demonstrate tors chanting "bush is a terrorist" and holding signs, one advocating assassination, reading "bush wanted, dead or alive," with an x over the word alive. several national news organizations were traveling with the president, but did not report on them. by contrast, the media focused extensively on overthe top signs held by protestors outside president obama's town hall in porths muth portsmouth, new hampshire. one went into detail about signs and details present there. united nations secretary general has some dire predictions about the environment. he told the global forum in south korea, quote, climate change is the fundamental threat to humankind.
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he added that the human suffering will be incalcuable. looking ahead to the u.n. conference on climate change in december, he warned "we must seal the deal in copenhagen for the future of humanity. we just have four months to secure the future of our planet. " atmospheric and space physicist bret singer said of the ominous forecast "the warm mongers are becoming desperate as the copenhagen confab of december is staring them in the face. it promises to be a complete disaster." finally, pennsylvania democrat ic governor ed rendell was channeling his inner james bond villain that he was frustrated with the lawmakers deadlocked budget negotiations saying it reminded him from the "gold finger movie" in which the bad guy kills a room of gangsters in one fell swoop. he filled the room with poison gas and knocked them off. you might have thought after watching those two conference committee days that that would
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have been a good idea. a republican aide told "the philadelphia enquirer" no one has ever said that the governor's sense of humor is one of his strong suits. another g.o.p. staffer said "this's no comment to make. he's obviously losing it." back to our coverage of healthcare reform now, many seniors have been shaken by the speculation and talk about possible government mandates in so-called end-of-life issues. shannon bream reports the controversy is far from over. >> we should not have a government program that determines if we're going to pull the plug on gand max >> end-of-life issues are taking place across the country as angry seniors worry about advisory boards, what critics call death panels, will make key decisions about what kind of treatment they will be able to get in later years. >> the rumor that has been circulating late ily -- >> though the president wants to kwell the comments, his own words may have contributed to
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the atmosphere of fear. he often discusses his grandmother's story r she was battling terminal cancer when she fell and needed a hip replacement. he said he would have paid her bills out of pocket but whether society would be willing to pay such costs is a tougher question. in an april interview with a new york times magazine he said "that's where you get into difficult moral issues but that's also a huge driver of cost, right? i mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for 80% of the total healthcare bill out here." >> that does not mean we should tie the continuationed and quality of an individual's life to how much they cost the government. >> cost is certainly an issue. a quarter of medicare's recent budget, more than $100 billion was spent on patients in their final year of life. this is real concern that lawmakers pushing for healthcare reform could look for spending cuts by limiting, quote, unnecessary procedures for the elderly. would medical professionals be
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urged to counsel against cost hi procedures during patient-doctor consultations? supporters of the consultations say that suggestion is noth are more than a scare tactic. >> there is no government counselor waiting there with a checklist. this is a conversation between you and your doctor. >> the so-called end-of-life counseling meetings between doctors and patients are outlined in house resolution 3200, the only healthcare reform measure so far from capitol hill. the senate has yet to produce a bill of its own. this is no word on whether it would contain a similar provision. in washington, shannon bream, fox news. bret: the opponents and supporters of reform point to canada to bolster their arguments, so would the canadian model work inside the u.s.? we report. you decide. here is white house correspondent wendell goler. >> answering questions at the summit of the americas monday, president obama seemed ambivalent about canada's single-payer healthcare system. >> i don't find canadians
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particularly scary, but i guess some of the opponents of reform think that they make a good bogeyman. >> mr. obama went on to say the canadian system wouldn't work in the u.s. but many american doctors believe it does some things better. >> our healthcare system delivers the highest quality of specialty care in the world. our primary care infrastructure is not good. >> canadians have a longer life expectancy, lower infant mortality rates and lower rates of obesity and diabetes than in the u.s.. their primary care doctors get paid more and they spend more time with their patients than dock doctors in the u.s.. >> we don't reimburse the valuation and management procedures as they sit and talk to patients. >> canadians also wait twice as long for non-emergency care and sometimes come to the u.s. for specialized treatment. dr. scott gottlieb says the single-payer edifice is starting to crumble. >> you see the growth of a private market for a lot of essential services in canada.
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>> that private market was borne after a 2005 canadian supreme court ruling ended the government's monopoly on some healthcares services. since people have to pay out of pocket for them, canada's public system is still overloaded. >> the average wait time to get an appointment for a new primary care physician is 17 weeks fox specialty care, it is worse. >> canada lacks america's high-tech. about 1/3 of the mri machines but they also spend less as a percentage of their economy. some say canada's long waits are the equivalent of our 47 million uninsured and morally more defensible. >> there is no per perfect healthcare system. every system has behinds. >> the president wants to squeeze money out of medicare to cover the uninsured. some think it will heed to medicaid-hike coverage limits. >> medicaid in many parts of the country is hardly offering any insurance to the patients. it is paying providers so
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little that patients on medicaid have a hard time getting access to services. >> got heeb said the u.s. -- gotleib said the u.s. and canada will have a mix of public and pieft insurance and the president should find the right plan so the public plan doesn't crowd out the white house-provided insurance. bret: president obama handed out the country's highest civilian awards. among the 16 people honored was senator ted kennedy. he could not attend because of his ongoing battle with brain cancer but his family was at the white house. other recipients included physicist steven hawkings, joseph lowry, sydney portier, billie jean king and the late congressman jack kemp. is the p president playing fast an loose with the facts with his pitch for healthcare reform? the fox all-stars take a swing at that when we come back. taking its rightful place
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>> we have the aarp onboard, because they know this is a good deal for our seniors. aarp would not be endorsing a bill if its was undermining medicare. >> on behalf of our members, i think it's important that we continue to say in public and to the president, no, we have not yet endorsed it. >> they have been supportive of comprehensive healthcare reform for a long time. they have not, as they said, endorsed a specific piece of legislation. >> so you weren't trying to mislead anyone? >> no, no. >> you just misspoke? >> right. bret: he just misspoke in that town hall in new hampshire according to the white house press secretary, the president and his pitch. what about the fact checking of the president, as the white house wants to fact check all the fishy statements about healthcare reform. let's bring in steve hayes with "the weekly standard", a.b. stoddard of "the hill" and jeff birnbaum, managing editor
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digital of the washington times. well, this is about the aarp and whon the group endorsed or did not endorse, and of course they haven't yet. jeff, what about the president's pitch and fact checking what he is saying on this stuff? >> well, this was a very big mistake, the aarp. let me just explain. aarp is the most powerful organization in policy sense in a political sense in the country. the only rival might be the national rifle association. the aarp is second in size -- in any organization in the country to the catholic church. it can, if it wants, kill health reform, and it remarkable to me that the aarp, which has been working so closely with the white house and the democrats, actually made the statement, slapping back the president on his mistake in new hampshire. this was a very big deal. they monitor closely their members and their views, because they nearly have a
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catastrophic situation in the 1990's when they backed catastrophic healthcare on chill and their members hated it, and they still went ahead and pushed for it, and they vowed never to make such a mistake again to defy their members, and so it's clear to me their members are now telling them in their own polls they don't like what they see, and this is a real problem for healthcare reform. >> well, the aarp was helping several days back to debunk the myth that these optional consultations that would be paid for if you wanted one, about end-of-life care, were not, in fact, a plan to use to deny seniors and they were taking calls from their member seniors and telling them it was a gnat-out lie. throughout this -- a flat out lie. throughout this process, many stakeholders, as they are called, have been at the table. the main problem for president obama in selling his healthcare reform is that he
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doesn't have a plan that he's selling. it is fluid. stakeholders now, as the rhetoric pivots from now being up on insurance companies or the bogey man before it was necessary to economic survival and ultimate improvement. as he shifts in his message, you see -- and the proposals themselves are fluid, you see the stakeholders leaving the table. he needs to keep them onboard desperately, whether it's the aarp or pharma, the drug industry, or the insurance companies. >> well, this was the problem with it from the beginning, i would argue. the reason he was able to bring these stakeholders and let's call them what they are -- special interests are to the table -- was because he wasn't specific. he wasn't saying which of these proposals that might drive them away from the table that he was actually going to embrace. now that he is being forced to do that, because these things are rap peering in legislation, it is making him nervous.
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there was an interesting aside that i think few people picked up on yesterday when the president talked about this deal that essentially the white house cut with the big pharmaceutical companies in which the pharmaceutical companies agreed to savings of $80 billion and the white house bout them to the table and essentially said we won't cut more. the president said yesterday in an aside, we may go beyond that, and i think that got people on chill, their ears perked up on capitol hill, and the pharmaceutical industry in washington and the lobbyists here arer in sus about that. the question is, can he keep all these people on the table at the time he starts to embrace specific proposals? i think it's tough. bret: special interests, if you are not at the table, stakeholders if you are. you mentioned endof life issues and one of the concerns that people have is something that the president talked about in that town hall meeting about his grandmother who was diagnosed with cancer
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and then boke her hip and had to get a hip replacement. there is his grandmother, a picture of her. he told "the new york times" magazine so that's why you get into difficult moral issues but it's also a huge driver of cost, right? i mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80% of the total healthcare bill out there. you know, he said that if somebody told him his gand mother couldn't get the hip replacement and she was going to be in pain, he would pay for it." it just raises questions, whether it's mandatory or not in that bill as it's written where it heads. am i right? >> you're exactly right. it raises the specter of government telling people what they can or cannot do. now there is more nexbility, they think. most people don't like that the insurance companies are telling them what can be paid for but they don't trust that government will tell them anything better, and so i do think that this is a serious problem that he has, in part,
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because he is talking about these issues. why he is raising this issue is very hard for me to understand, because it's not anything that is going to benefit the healthcare man that he is pushing, whatever that is, talking about end-of-life issues, scaring seniors, the last group that he should be scaring are seniors. >> but he has to raise these issues precisely because they account for so much of the cost of these proposals and these expenditures. >> this reminds me of bill clinton, really, who is willing to talk about hmm anything, and obama, in his overexposure, i think has been talking about everything. he needs to have a discipline to talk about just the things he says that need to be in the plan. covering everybody is something that he isn't talking about as much. he should be talking about all of this stuff more, because when he does, people understand what the issues will likely be after this passes. >> i think it's time to kill the public option, finally
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come out and do it. he knows go into law. it is not going to be a public option. it is the poster child of all these protest rallies and it the symbol of bailout, for tarp, for the sim lus bill, for the house-passed cap and trade, and it is the symbol for government intervention. if he doesn't have the vote for it and it is never going to be in there, he will be able to get this back on track, maybe. bret: the bills written currently have public options. the one that is seen as the bipartisan vehicle hasn't even been written yet in the senate finance committee. >> we don't even know what is in it yet. >> when people learn the specifics, they like these
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things less. bret: so is the recession over? the federal reserve made news today. we will talk about the economy, next. clear plus support for bone and breast health. just what i need. clearme naing onon ud r.
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>> so there is no doubt that the refer recovery act has helped put the brakes on this recession. >> the sense of freefall, of vertical decline has been contained. we are beginning to lay a foundation for future growth. >> i don't think the actions of the administration have had a whole lot to do with this, but look, if the economy is getting better, we're all happy about that. bret: so, are we are out of the recession? a couple of news points today, the federal reserve saying the economy has essentially leveled out. we also had new numbers on
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federal deficit released today. july, $181 billion was added to the deficit. year to date, $1.27 trillion. fiscal 2009, $1.84 trillion. that is a big-time record. we're back with the panel. steve, where is the state of the economy? >> i think we are out of the recession. i think we will probably find out eventually that we were coming out of it as early as june. i think you can look at a number of indicators that suggest that the economy is strengthening or recovering. you've got construction up. you've got exports up. you've got the weekly unemployment numbers which we've got which have been down. i think if you look at the broad aing of economic indicators, most people agree and the wall street journal poll suggests this, that most people believe we are into recovery, which is a perfect time to suspend the stimulus. bret: chances, zero.
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>> you know, i think that the administration, they're on the defensive about their deficit spending agenda, and they are going to take this news, and try to make the case that the stimulus has worked and will continue to work, and it is certainly the case that has to have saved state jobs. i mean, many people throughout the states have got to have been able to keep their jobs because of this, it might have helped unemployment there. obviously when you look at leading indicators like housing and the stock market and feel bad or better that we are back from the brink, the lagging indicator will be the deciding one in terms of president obama's political momentum cap capital support and looking into 2010 and we see when did jobs come back in previous recessions like 2001 or 1991, and you look at this, possibly, if we're in a worst situation with job loss, pushing into '11, maybe '12.
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bret: so do people feel it? >> it is getting to that point. that is the point. politically speaking, all of these numbers that steve talked about are essentially meaningless. what matters is if people believe that they are going to keep their job, they're afraid if they are going to lose their job. the unemployment rate, even though it notched down slightly recently to 9.4%, that's still very high and is likely to continue to rise. income is not going to catch up. inflation is coming back. that's one of the reasons why the fed today did not tamper with interest rates at all. commodity prices, gasoline prices are going to be going up, so politically speaking, the president can say all he wants that the worst is behind us, the recession is over, but people are not going to feel it, and they act on what they feel, and that means the economy is still job number one for the president, and that's one of the things holding back the rest of his agenda, in my view. bret: they have been fairly careful at the white house to say we're not out of the woods yet. they have always had this
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caveat in all of the statements. about the still hus, you know, when you talk about jobs created, some of these part-time jobs and the jobs saved is obviously tough to quantify. do you really believe, steve, that there is a chance, any chance, that they would do something with the remaining money of the stimulus? it is only 10% that has been out. >> no. that's the problem. the white house is out. there you have shown the clips of them making the case that the stimulus is working, the stimulus is working. the problem is they have been saying that when 3% of the stimulus was out. but republicans have to retool their talking points, too, because i think they're getting caught blaming the president for the economy, and you're likely to see some kind of uptick. >> i disagree. i think this is at least a 35% chance that some of the leftover money will be used, let's say, in healthcare to try to save it if the economy really starts rolling sometime soon. i think we should be aware of that possibility.
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so start your business, protect your family, launch your dreams. at we put the law on your side. bret: there has been a lot of focus on health-care reform. there has been a lot of news as well. some people are tuning out, watching other things. it is interesting how advertisers are trying to tie into certain shows. >> this shark week premier was presented by febreze. presented by febreze.
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